The Decline and Fall of the German Empire

The German Automobile Empire.

Cars

Could 400,000 car industry jobs in Germany be lost? – The car industry is in apparent decline in Germany. Some estimates predict that half its 800,000 jobs will be gone by 2030. The industry disagrees with that estimate, but the road ahead looks bumpy.

“The production of electric vehicles can be automated more easily. If there is no improvement in the competitive position of the German industry in the area of electromobility in the next few years, and if the need for imports of battery cells and electric vehicles continues to grow in light of the launch of electromobility, employment structures will be severely hit.”

Just Say No

No, not no to drugs. Just say no to energy. Electricity was yesterday.

Energy

No nuclear energy, no coal energy. Not much sun either for solar energy. There’s lots of wind in Germany, though. Hot air mostly but still.

Germany is first major economy to phase out coal and nuclear – German lawmakers have finalized the country’s long-awaited phase-out of coal as an energy source, backing a plan that environmental groups say isn’t ambitious enough and free marketeers criticize as a waste of taxpayers’ money.

Bills approved by both houses of parliament Friday envision shutting down the last coal-fired power plant by 2038 and spending some 40 billion euros ($45 billion) to help affected regions cope with the transition.

The plan is part of Germany’s ‘energy transition’ – an effort to wean Europe’s biggest economy off planet-warming fossil fuels and generate all of the country’s considerable energy needs from renewable sources. Achieving that goal is made harder than in comparable countries such as France and Britain because of Germany’s existing commitment to also phase out nuclear power by the end of 2022.

Where On Earth Did I Put That €1.9 Billion?

I didn’t leave it in my other wallet now, did I?

Wirecard

Remember when Germany used to have that squeaky-clean image? Yeah. Me neither. Now Wirecard has stepped up to the plate.

German payments firm Wirecard says missing €1.9bn may not exist – Company thought money was in two Asian banks but search hits dead end in Philippines.

“The management board of Wirecard assesses on the basis of further examination that there is a prevailing likelihood that the bank trust account balances in the amount of €1.9bn do not exist.”

It’s Magic!

It’s as if none of this Corona crap ever happened at all!

Magic

Maybe that’s because none of this Corona crap ever did happen. Not like it was supposed to happen, I mean. Not that anybody ever really knew how it was supposed to happen but everybody knows now that it simply didn’t happen that way. Folks sure got riled up though, didn’t they?

Germany poised for big economic recovery – The German economy is expected to shrink by more than 6% this year. But a new study found the country could be in for a big economic recovery next year.

In a best-case scenario, the economy could recover in about five months, the institute said. This would result in a more mild economic slump of just 3.9% in 2020.

But in a worst-case scenario, the recovery could also take as long as 16 months. The economy could then shrink by 9.3% this year, with growth of 9.5% forecast for 2021.

“In that case, the recovery would stretch into 2022.”

If We’re Really Lucky, June Is Going To Suck

May was REALLY awful.

Exports

And we don’t even want to talk about June.

The mood among German exporters recovered somewhat in May after a “catastrophic” April, the first full month of coronavirus lockdown measures in Europe’s largest economy, the Ifo institute said on Tuesday.

“Virtually every sector still expects further declines, yet these will be less sharp than had been expected in the previous month,” the Munich think tank said in a monthly release.

The Ifo export indicator, based on a survey of around 2,300 manufacturing businesses, rose in May to -26.9 from -50.2. It is a net reading for respondents expecting an increase minus those who see a decline.

German Of The Day: Rückgang

That means decline.

Spielball

You know. Like the Decline and Fall of the Merkel Empire?

Biggest German industry slump in a decade revives recession fears – German industrial output suffered its biggest fall in December since the recession-hit year of 2009, a shock drop highlighting the weakness in manufacturing that risks dragging Europe’s largest economy into contraction again.

Deutsche Industrieproduktion bricht ein – “Spielball der Weltkonjunktur.”

The Third Time’s The Charm

Or it will be. Or it could be. Maybe.

Growth

Germany’s Second Economic Miracle Is Ending – The cognoscenti of international economics are once again agape, and not in a flattering way, at the budget surpluses Germany’s government keeps running, when instead it should be stimulating the economy with tax cuts and higher spending. The surplus revealed this week for 2019, at 13.5 billion euros ($15 billion), is the fifth in a row, and the biggest ever.

Many Germans still regard such numbers as signs of economic virtue and virility, as they keep slashing public debt and reveling in high employment numbers. Alas, these positive indicators are likely to be lagging, not leading. That’s because an unusual era is drawing to an end, one that was likened by Bert Ruerup, one of Germany’s top economists, to a “second economic miracle.” (The first was West Germany’s long postwar rally).

In the past 15 years — somewhat coincidentally, the reign of Angela Merkel as chancellor — Germany turned from the “sick man of Europe” to the continent’s export powerhouse and growth engine. In the next 15 years, Germany won’t necessarily become sick again. But, as Ruerup puts it, it could simply turn economically “gray,” with meager growth indefinitely.

German Of The Day: Tiefstand

That means lowest level. You know, like the current 23-year low in German car production?

Tiefstand

German car production fell to its lowest in almost a quarter of a century as Europe’s biggest economy suffers from the fallout of a global trade war.

Automakers including Volkswagen AG, BMW AG and Daimler AG produced 4.66 million vehicles in German factories last year, the weakest since 1996. The country’s VDA car lobby, which published the figures on Monday, said the 9% decrease was a result of waning demand from international markets.

The industry is set for more tough times this year. The VDA predicted global car deliveries will drop to 78.9 million vehicles from 80.1 million in 2019.

German Of The Day: Fachkräftemangel

That means a shortage of skilled specialists.

Skills

And Angela Merkel HERSELF has warned Germans of a possible exodus of businesses from Germany if nothing is done about this acute problem.

Doesn’t really make sense, though. She brought around two million skilled specialists into the country not all too long ago, or at least that’s how the German media and others painted it. And some 200,000 skilled specialists keep pouring into Germany each and every year. Surely there must be some misunderstanding here somewhere, some disconnect.

Weil kein qualifiziertes Personal gefunden wird, bleiben viele Stellen in deutschen Betrieben unbesetzt. Die Kanzlerin fordert eine Lösung für den Fachkräftemangel. Ansonsten drohten drastische Folgen.

German Of The Day: Abschwung

That means downturn.

Downturn

German industry hit by biggest downturn since 2009 – Output falls 5.3% in year to October, weighing on eurozone growth outlook.

Germany’s sprawling industrial sector is suffering its steepest downturn for a decade, underlining how the engine of the eurozone’s biggest economy is sputtering.

In der deutschen Industrie geht der Abschwung mit einem schwachen Start ins vierte Quartal weiter. Im Oktober haben die Betriebe ihre Gesamtproduktion erneut deutlich zurückgefahren.